Clinical Trial Spotlight: Neurophysiology of pain in children with CP

March 11, 2020

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UNMC researchers are seeking subjects for the study "Neurophysiology of Pain in Children with Cerebral Palsy (IRB#: 219-19-EP)."

About the study:

Many youth with cerebral palsy (CP) report frequent pain in their muscles and bones, but the cause of this pain is not well understood. Prior research performed at UNMC has identified that youth with CP process sensory information differently. This study is evaluating if there is a link between the different processing of sensations by the brain and the daily pain perceptions of youth with CP.

Max Kurz, Ph.D., and his team at the Munroe-Meyer Institute hope to determine if there is a relationship between how the brain processes sensory information (e.g., sensations to hands and feet) and musculoskeletal pain through a series of brain imaging tests, motor skills tests, and surveys. Thirty-six participants with CP are needed in order to examine how their brain processes sensory information, and a group of 25 non-CP participants is needed for comparison as healthy control subjects.

The study is seeking youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who:

  • Are able to complete a series of sensory tasks;
  • Have no metal in his/her head that is not removable (e.g., braces on teeth, permanent retainer);
  • Have had no orthopedic surgery or Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections in last year;
  • Have no history of dorsal rhizotomy (procedure on nerve roots in the spinal cord);
  • Have a cerebral palsy diagnosis (for CP participants); and
  • Have no known atypical neurodevelopment (e.g., autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, etc.) for control participants.

Expectations for participants:

  • Complete MEG scan while a muscle twitch is stimulated in the hands and feet. (The scan is harmless and painless. MEG passively records the activity of the brain in a similar fashion as an EEG.);
  • Complete MRI scan to obtain structural image of brain;
  • Complete motor skills assessment; and
  • Complete written survey on perceived daily pain.

Although participants may not benefit from being in this study, there is no cost. Participants will be reimbursed for time and travel.

To express interest in participating, please contact:

The Pediatric Research Office Study Recruitment Line at 402-836-9762 or via email.

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